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Sitharaman Proposes Model Tenancy Law to Resolve Housing Problem across Nation

Once finalised, the finance minister said the new law will be circulated among states, adding that it is being done to push for reforms to promote rental housing.


Updated:July 5, 2019, 4:43 PM IST
Sitharaman Proposes Model Tenancy Law to Resolve Housing Problem across Nation
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to present the 2019 budget in Parliament, New Delhi. (Image Reuters)

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting her first Budget on Friday, talked about bringing out a Model Tenancy Law.

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"It is proposed that several reform measures would be taken up to promote rental housing. Current rental laws are archaic as they do not address the relationship between the lessor and the lessee realistically and fairly,” Sitharaman said, adding that a model tenancy law will also be finalised and circulated among the states.

This will be done, she said in order to push for reforms to promote rental housing across states.

The law was discussed for the first time during the first Narendra Modi government. It was supposed to replace the 70-year-old Rent Control Act, 1948, and was reportedly drafted with an aim to ensure that landlords are able to charge market rates for their residential or commercial properties, get the rents revised periodically, and also get their premises vacated easily without getting into long-drawn legal proceedings.

It was being framed keeping in mind the interests of tenants, as well. A rent ceiling was to be fixed in consultation with the state government to avoid arbitrary hikes. It also reportedly had safeguards to prevent landlords from being able to evict tenants as per their whims and fancies. Overall, once implemented, it is likely to go a long way in solving the housing problem in the country.

Sitharaman also highlighted her government's commitment to housing for all and claimed that around 1.5 crore homes were completed in the first phase of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). About 1.95 crore houses are proposed to be provided in the second phase of PMAY, she said. This will be part of efforts to fulfil the Modi government’s ambitious ‘Housing for All’ policy by 2022, which focuses on providing affordable housing across the country.

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